December 30, 2013

Five Mocktails to bring in the new year

Cran-Apple Cider
Rim glass with cinnamon sugar. Combine equal parts cranberry juice and apple cider. Garnish with a rock-candy swizzle stick.


Sparkling Sangria
Add sliced apples, strawberries, oranges, and frozen grapes to sparkling grape juice. Garnish with a fruit  slice.
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Faux Champagne
Combine equal parts ginger ale, white grape juice, and pineapple or orange juice. Garnish with frozen grapes and a curly straw.


Shirley Temple
Rim glass with pink Pop Rocks. Add 4 Tbsp grenadine syrup to 16 ounces ginger ale. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Chocolate Mock-tini
Coat inside of glass with chocolate syrup. Blend together 1/2 cup chocolate milk, 1 cup mint-chocolate chip ice cream, and 4 ice cubes. Garnish with candy cane.

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December 12, 2013

Apple Crumb Pie Recipe

Apple Crumb Pie Slice

Apple Crumb Pie Recipe
  • 1 Prepared 9-inch Pie Dough (homemade or store-bought is fine)

Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 pounds Granny Smith or Golden Delicious Apples (about 7-8 apples), peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Roll out pie dough and line 9-inch pie plate. Freeze for at 15-20 minutes to firm dough.
3. Prepare crumb topping by combining sugars, cinnamon, flour and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture resembles large peas. With hands, press topping together to form large clumps. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Add apples and toss to evenly combine.
5. Add sour cream and vanilla to apple mixture and toss well to coat evenly.
6. Spoon apple mixture into chilled crust.
7. Sprinkle top of apple mixture with crumb topping.
8. Place pie on foil-lined baking sheet to catch and overflow during baking. Bake pie for 1 hour. Then, turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for another 35-45 minutes or until the filling in the center is bubbling. If needed, you can loosely cover pie with aluminum foil towards the end of cooking to prevent over browning.
9. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tres Leches Cake


Tres Leches Cake
* 6 large eggs, separated
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
* 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
* 1 can(12 ounces) evaporated milk
* 1/2 cup half and half
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 Tbsp rum or brandy {optional}
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold whites into yolks until almost combined. Gently fold in flour (do not overmix).
2. Spread batter in prepared dish. Bake until golden and pulling away from sides of dish, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool the cake for 20-30 minutes.
3. Using a fork, prick the cake all over. Also, cut off the edges of the cake if they seem dry.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the three milks, vanilla extract, rum or cognac and pour evenly over cake. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate all day or overnight.
4. Before serving, prepare whipped cream frosting. In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream with sugar until thick {stiff peaks} and spreadable.
Frost cake and serve. You can also top with maraschino cherries, pineapple, or coconut.

Maple Pecan Pie

Maple Pecan Pie

  • 1 prepared pie dough
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (halves and some whole)
  • pinch of Kosher salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat eggs. Stir in maple syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well-combined. Add pecans and stir. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes or until golden brown and the filling is set.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Sugar Cookie Recipe
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter or 2 sticks-softened{not margarine!}
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. On a sheet of waxed paper {or in a large bowl}, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in eggs and vanilla until mixed. Beat in flour mixture, scraping bowl occasionally with rubber spatula, just until mixed. Shape dough into four balls; flatten each slightly. Wrap each in wax paper and refrigerate over night, until firm enough to roll.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Keeping remaining dough refrigerated, on lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll one piece of dough a scant 1/4 inch thick. Tip: If dough will not roll out easily or falls apart–then knead with a bit of flour until pliable. With floured 3-4 inch assorted cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; reserve trimmings. Place cookies, about 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before putting in the oven to bake.
3. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden around edges. With wide spatula transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
4. Repeat with remaining cookie dough and trimmings.
Yield: Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Holiday Breakfast: Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

 Holiday Breakfast: Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
3 – 4 cups flour, divided
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 stick butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes until bubbles start to appear.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 3 cups flour, pumpkin, milk, butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using the dough hook attachment, beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth (about 5-10 minutes). Dough should be tacky, but not sticky. Add flour in small amounts as needed. NOTE: If you don’t have a stand mixer, just knead dough with your hands for about 10 minutes; adding flour as needed.
3. Place the dough inside a large bowl that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray or oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area of your kitchen until doubled in size.
4. Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. In a small bowl combine sugar and spices.
6. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 16×12 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture. Starting with a long edge, roll up tightly; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut the roll into 15 (1 inch) slices. Place rolls in a 9×12 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.

 At this point, you can either bake the rolls immediately or place in the refrigerator overnight. If you do refrigerate them overnight, take them out of the refrigerator about an hour before baking to allow to come to room temperature.
7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

8. While rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the powdered sugar until well mixed. Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately.

Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa
 If you've been drinking the store-bought stuff from the little packets, you are truly missing out on one of life’s simple luxuries. Hot cocoa is super simple to make and tastes so much better when it’s homemade. Both kids and adults love it!
-1/3 cup cocoa powder
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/3 cup water
-4 cups milk
-1tsp pure vanilla extract
-pinch of salt
Directions: Whisk cocoa, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla and continue cooking until heated through.

Eat, drink and be MERRY! Happy Holidays!

Reindeer Chow {Muddy Buddies} (a spin-off of Puppy Chow)

Reindeer Chow {Muddy Buddies}
  1. 14 Cups Chex cereal
  2. 18 oz holiday m&ms
  3. 12 oz semi sweet chocolate, bar or chips
  4. 1/2 Cup unsalted butter
  5. 1 Cup peanut butter
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 4-5 Cups powdered sugar
  1. Melt the peanut butter and butter in a microwave safe dish. Microwave in 30 second intervals until butter is melted. Add the chocolate a little at a time until all is melted into the mix. You might need to microwave one last time to make sure everything is melted and add the vanilla. Stir together.
  2. In a large bowl add half of the cereal.
  3. Drizzle half of the chocolate peanut butter mixture into the cereal in the bowl. Mix with a spoon.
  4. Place one large paper bag into another one. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and half of the mixed cereal into the bag. Close this tightly and shake vigorously. Add more powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time if needed until all the cereal is coated. Add 1/4 of the m&ms into the bag and toss. Place in an air tight container.
  5. Continue these step with the remaining ingredients.
  6. Keep stored in an air tight container. I personally love to keep it in the freezer, YUM!
  7. Enjoy!

Strawberry Angel Food Trifle

Strawberry Angel Food Trifle

(1) angel food cake
24 oz. container frozen strawberries, sliced with sugar added, thawed
3 cups sugar free vanilla pudding
16 oz. container of whipped cream, slightly less than the whole container
Fresh strawberries for garnish

Tear angel food cake into medium pieces. Begin layering cake, strawberries, pudding and whip cream in a large clear glass bowl.Continue irregular layers, filling the bowl. Top entire dessert with a solid layer of whip cream. Slice a few fresh strawberries for garnish Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours before serving. To me it tastes like all the flavors of strawberry shortcake in one big yummy bite! I think it would be GREAT to add blueberries to this mix too... 



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until combined. Beat in eggs. Add mashed bananas and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Reduce speed of mixer and gradually add flour mixture by thirds, alternating with buttermilk, mixing well. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Cook at 375 for 30-35 minutes.

For frosting beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Reduce speed and gradually add powdered sugar a little at a time until completely mixed. Add vanilla, increase speed and beat until fluffy. Spread over cooled cake.

December 07, 2013

Have you ever had the pleasure of tasting a Dole Whip?


2 cans (20 oz. each) DOLE crushed pineapple
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/3 cup sugar (or Stevia)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Drain pineapple: reserve 2 tbsp. juice.
Set aside.
Place pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and reserved pineapple juice in blender.
Cover and blend until smooth.
Pour into two 1-quart freezer zipped bags.
Store bags flat in freezer.
Freeze 1 1/2 hours or until slushy.
Stir pineapple slush gently into whipped cream until slightly blended in large bowl. 

Return to freezer until completely frozen, about 1 hour and serve. 

December 05, 2013

Classic Patty Melt

Classic Patty Melt


1-1/2 pounds of ground chuck
1 large Vidalia or yellow onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, plus additional softened butter for the bread slices
4 slices of Swiss cheese, or your favorite sliced cheese
8 slices of rye bread
Special Sauce, optional {recipe below}
Garlic salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Shape the meat into four oval shaped patties, place on the pan and put into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a cast iron skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium high, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring regularly, until caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onion; set aside.

Sprinkle the meat patties with the garlic salt and pepper. Place into the same skillet, seasoning side down, and turn the heat back up to medium high. Cook until the patties are well browned on the underside, and mostly cooked through. Flip, scatter onions on top and place a slice of cheese on top of the onions. Cover with a lid and move off of the heat source to let the cast iron finish cooking through. If you are not using cast iron, you'll need to keep the burgers over direct heat until cooked through.

Generously butter one side of all of the bread slices. Place, butter side down into a fresh large non-stick skillet and place a slice of cheese on top of each slice of bread. Cook the bread until well browned on the underside. Top each bread slice with one of the meat patties and add some of the special sauce, if using. Top with a slice of buttered bread, butter side out, and carefully turn over to brown the other side, gently pressing down. Cook until well browned, transfer to serving plates and cut on a slight diagonal. Serve immediately.

Special Sauce (aka Thousand Island Dressing)
©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of ketchup
1/2 tablespoon of sweet pickle relish
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Combine and refrigerate until needed.